thedivinegoat_archive: (Default)
[personal profile] thedivinegoat_archive
If you have recently received a random message or contact from an unknown person containing text similar to the title, it may be a troll. His name seems to be Paul Melville Austin, but he uses a variety of pseudonyms, including Paul Benjamn Austin (also just plain Paul Austin) and Paul Sebastian Williams, to harass users and gain attention for himself. He seems to have accounts on both LiveJournal and Dreamwidth under the names of [personal profile] australianchild, [livejournal.com profile] bullenemu, [livejournal.com profile] colemancharlott and [livejournal.com profile] tyne_wear (ETA Also [personal profile] marmaladeatkins, [livejournal.com profile] carlottecoleman, [livejournal.com profile] marmaladeatkins, [livejournal.com profile] thetestcard, [livejournal.com profile] australiaoz, [livejournal.com profile] marmalade44, [livejournal.com profile] uline, [livejournal.com profile] marmaladeat, [livejournal.com profile] charcoleman, [livejournal.com profile] ozaustralia, [livejournal.com profile] marmalade00, [livejournal.com profile] australian00s, [livejournal.com profile] australiachild and [livejournal.com profile] tyne_and_wear) but may have others. He is also known to use some non-journal nicknames and have multiple email addresses.

He has several behaviors, and a general pattern by which you can identify him;
*He contacts users, via email, IM's or private messages.
*He usually presents himself as either a young woman (generally using a stolen icon) or as an older, disabled man.
- His frequently changes his name with each contact.
*He will generally start out saying something like "can I talk to you?".
*He then launches into a story of abuse.
- Sometimes the abuse will be sexual and sometimes it is disability related, with either a sexual or humiliation component. The specific details vary from contact to contact.
*He will often express gender identity confusion and/or dating problems.
*He is interested in alternate history and fandom and will sometimes try to use this to get close to his new target.
*He often sets off the "squick-o-meter" when conversing with people. You may get a feeling that there is something Not Quite Right.
*On some occasions he has continued communication, even after being asked to stop

For example in August 2008 he posed as a High School Student called Marta (http://community.feministing.com/2008/08/reaching-out-and-welcoming.html) who was a survivor of sexual abuse.

This behaviour has continued over many years. He may or may not be dangerous. Please use appropriate amounts of caution if you choose to interact with him. If you feel he is breaking or has broken the Dreamwidth or LiveJournal Terms of Service while interacting with you, please contact them immediately. They can be reached via abuse@dreamwidth.org or abuse@livejournal.com, as appropriate.

I am trying to collect more information about the people he contacts and his interactions with them. If you believe you may have had contact with one of his personas, please leave me a message on this post.

Comments are screened, please note whether you want the comment to remain screened or are happy to have it unscreened. Anon comments are allowed, but may not necessarily be unscreened.


The more people who know about this man and his MO, the fewer people he can harass and trick. So also, please consider linking or re-posting this note in your own journal.

Thanks!

Date: 2010-03-03 11:07 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] andraste-oz.livejournal.com
I've been contacted by this person twice and have ignored it both times. The first time was some months ago, to my LJ account, from his account [livejournal.com profile] bullenemu and I thought it was a troll and ignored it completely. The second time was yesterday, to my Dreamwidth account, from his "australianchild" account. Both times the message and subject line were exactly the same:

Hi
can i talk with you?
please?


I ignored it, because it's such a bizarre way to contact someone you've never had contact with before (ie, without saying why they want to talk to you, what you might have in common, etc) and so it just felt generally trollish/needy right off the bat.

Happy for this to be unscreened.

Date: 2010-03-03 11:11 am (UTC)

Date: 2010-03-03 05:04 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] snufflesdbear.livejournal.com
Here via RM post.
I think I have been contacted a few times by this guy - oddly enough, not my LJ address, but an outside one I use as it has a spam catcher I can view. I have gotten 3 or 4 at each of the addresses. The spam filter catches them, and I deleted them unread. I saw one day 2 with that header. So I figured it was spam.
I am so sorry for the people who have be (opefully only virtually) attacked by this person.

Sure, you can unscreen this. Maybe it will help someone to think to check those spam filters. I will also link to this both here and at Insane journal and FB, if that's okay?

Date: 2010-03-03 06:27 pm (UTC)
ext_170: (Default)
From: [identity profile] thedivinegoat.livejournal.com
I will also link to this both here and at Insane journal and FB, if that's okay?

Please do. The wider this is spread the better.

Date: 2010-03-04 02:55 am (UTC)
ext_8719: (Default)
From: [identity profile] st-aurafina.livejournal.com
I've had contact with him, as australianchild on Dreamwidth. I assumed he was a young girl, or perhaps someone a bit older with little internet experience.

Nothing creepy happened - they contacted me via PM, said that they had noticed I had "enid blyton" in my interests, and "Can I talk to you?" They mentioned their favourite Malory Towers book.

I blathered happily on about Enid Blyton and Malory Towers, told them about fanfic and gave them a bunch of recs at the Yuletide archive. And because they were an Aussie, I offered to add them. Which I did - they never reciprocated, or posted anything in their journal - and I thought nothing more of it.

I wasn't suspicious - I just thought "internet noob" and was kind and gave them some recs.

I'm happy for this to be unscreened also.

Date: 2010-03-04 07:09 am (UTC)

Date: 2010-03-04 05:30 am (UTC)
vass: A sepia-toned line-drawing of a man in naval uniform dancing a hornpipe, his crotch prominent (Default)
From: [personal profile] vass
He's also [livejournal.com profile] carlottecoleman. He didn't contact me like that, but he did make a weird comment on one of my posts, and I didn't reply because it was weird and abrupt. You can unscreen this.

Date: 2010-03-04 07:10 am (UTC)

Date: 2010-03-04 05:44 am (UTC)
vass: A sepia-toned line-drawing of a man in naval uniform dancing a hornpipe, his crotch prominent (Default)
From: [personal profile] vass
Wait a moment. He did contact me like that. I'd forgotten, because it was years ago. There was a teenage girl in Doctor Who fandom who kept emailing me, and she said right in the first email that she was a sexual assault victim and needed my help. She kept repeating that Kate Orman knew who she was, with the implication that Kate Orman had sent her, or that it was a guarantee that her story was true or something (except that Kate Orman doesn't know me from a bar of soap, and I don't see how her having already told the story to a BNF is a guarantee of anything.)

I didn't reply to her because I'm pretty socially anxious, and also there was just something wrong with the whole story and the way she was approaching me. I didn't know why she'd ask a complete stranger she'd never contacted before to help her with her sexual assault trauma. So I let it go, and she never contacted me again. I can't give you her name, because I deleted the emails years ago.

You can unscreen.

Date: 2010-03-04 07:10 am (UTC)
ext_170: (Default)
From: [identity profile] thedivinegoat.livejournal.com
Thanks, it's good to know what other fandoms he's popped up in.

Date: 2010-03-04 11:15 pm (UTC)
ext_6531: (DW: Romana (beach))
From: [identity profile] lizbee.livejournal.com
OH MY GOD, I HAD CONTACT WITH THE SAME "GIRL"! She, too, said that Kate Orman had mentioned my name. I thought that was strange, because I didn't think Kate knew who I was, but she seemed young and vulnerable, and I didn't want to let her down.

We had a lot of conversations about sexual assualt, boundaries and the awfulness of being a teenager with big breasts. I gave her a lot of advice, but she became very clingy, and I wound up backing off. I've always felt really bad about that, so I'm kind of relieved to know it was a troll.

She used the name "MechaMinx".

(And this can be unscreened.)

Date: 2010-03-04 06:28 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] splodgenoodles.livejournal.com
Hi, got the heads up from [livejournal.com profile] vassilissa.

I've been contacted twice with the same opener via LJ message. (ie - "can I talk with you? pretty please?)

Two usernames:
[livejournal.com profile] marmaladeatkins. Claims to be from Richmond (a suburb of Melbourne, Australia.)
[livejournal.com profile] thetestcard

I haven't replied. And I'll link here, as I think at least one of my friends has been added by this person.

Also, happy to have this comment unscreened.
Edited Date: 2010-03-04 06:29 am (UTC)

Date: 2010-03-04 07:11 am (UTC)
ext_170: (Default)
From: [identity profile] thedivinegoat.livejournal.com
Thank you, I'll add those names to the post.

Date: 2010-03-04 07:59 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] ilikerivers.livejournal.com
I think it was thetestcard that contacted me too. They were telling me about a skin condition that caused great embarrassment and pain. I said I wasn't qualified to help and that they should look into other communities or see a psychologist.

So weird and I did think troll or not troll? But it didn't seem harmful. The other sexual abuse comments listed here sound nasty and trolly. I hope he hasn't hurt or triggered anybody.

Unscreen away.

Date: 2010-03-04 08:07 am (UTC)
ext_170: (Default)
From: [identity profile] thedivinegoat.livejournal.com
Thank you.

Hopefully with this spreading far and wide, it will prevent him harassing anybody else.

Date: 2010-03-04 09:44 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] hasimir.livejournal.com
I found this post via [livejournal.com profile] aphephobia. I've got another username to add to the list: [livejournal.com profile] uline.

I played with the troll because I was bored at the time, but it stopped messaging me when finally questioned as to why I was asked for contact. Plus I'm pretty good at dealing with online "threats" and had little concern regarding dealing with this character if it got out of hand.

Feel free to unscreen this comment.

Date: 2010-03-04 10:15 am (UTC)
ext_170: (Default)
From: [identity profile] thedivinegoat.livejournal.com
Thanks, will add that name to the list.

Date: 2010-03-04 12:12 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] derryderrydown.livejournal.com
I've been contacted by him twice, both as marmaladeatkins but once on LJ and once on DW.

Both initial messages were the usual. I ignored the LJ one but replied to the DW one, asking him why he wanted to talk and who he was and the reply was:

no one you know sorry if i upset you - just feeling sad and looking for someone to talk too

was just looking in Directory Search for people to talk with

i didnt mean anything bad


I didn't bother replying because it just sounded dodgy. (Also, I refuse on principle to talk to people who gratuitously ignore punctuation and grammar.)

I'm happy for this to be unscreened.

Date: 2010-03-04 01:20 pm (UTC)
ext_170: (Default)
From: [identity profile] thedivinegoat.livejournal.com
Thanks. (Was the DW one the one above or a different one?)

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